How does one give mussar to someone who doesn’t want to hear it?
Don’t give it. אל תוכח לץ (Mishlei 9-8). Don’t give mussar to a לץ – to someone who’s just going to laugh it off. הקדוש ברוך הוא will give him mussar. Hashem will give him mussar that he won’t be able to laugh off. How? He’ll be lying in the hospital with a broken leg, a broken thigh. He has to have a cast. And it hurts like anything. That’s the time that he’ll be able to think a little about the mussar that Hashem is giving him. That’s what it’s for. It’s much harder to laugh off that type of mussar. And I’m afraid that even then, it won’t help for a לץ. But sometimes it does help a little bit.
Some people became frum when they were in the trenches. Hiding in the trenches in wartime. And bullets flying overhead. They became בעלי תשובה in the trenches. I know someone like that. It’s a fact. He was so frightened, that in the trench, he became a בעל תשובה. He came back to America and became frum. But it’s not a very impressive way to become a בעל תשובה. Because sometimes, you don’t leave the trenches. You get gassed in the trenches.
And so, better for a person to become a בעל תשובה because he comes, let’s say, and listens to lectures. These lectures won’t hurt you. Or, take a Mesillas Yesharim. There are plenty of good mussar seforim. That’s how to become a בעל תשובה. Become a בעל תשובה with the mussar seforim. It’s much better than in the hospital or in the trenches. Don’t be that לץ who has to be taught mussar by Hashem in a hospital bed.
TAPE # E-230